Tutor report Assignment 3

The report for Assignment 3 by my tutor Joanne Mulvilli- Allen has arrived. I am thrilled and honestly surprised at how positive it is, as my battle with perspective was not an easy one.

Formative feedback

Student name        Clara Maciulis Student number                     513759
Course/Unit            Drawing 1: drawing skills Assignment number            3
Type of tutorial (eg video/audio/written) Written

Overall Comments

Clara, thank you for submitting assignment 3. You’ve focused your line of enquiry for this part of the course, refining your ideas in preparatory work and following that through to finished pieces. You have a vivacious approach to the course and a willingness to experiment, take risks and learn.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Project 1: Trees

The layering here is very successful, you’ve found a way to depict the softness of the leaves and to contrast the tougher tree trunk. This is a more subtle way to use mixed media and could be explored further. Have a look at the work of Sarah Taylor Silverwood. There was an interview with her on WeAreOCA here also.

I love the work of Sarah Taylor Silverwood that I discovered through the blog. I will definitely want to explore layering more, and photo transfers as a background. I particularly like how she is using pictures of very different styles for the different layers. Also various formats- sometimes fabric or a whole room.

Your study of several trees is a lively composition, it is an illustrative piece with a Cezanne influence.

(Happy, happy to read this- I thought it was too uninteresting…)

Project 2: Landscape

Exercise 1: Cloud formations and tone

It’s great to see you so enthused about studying clouds, the ever changing nature of them suits your gestural approach to making. Continue to practice creating variable tonal values making that shift from light to dark more indistinct. If you have the opportunity create some tonal charts in a variety of media.

Yes, will do, very useful!

Exercise 2: Sketchbook walk

This exercise was exactly what you needed to get you stuck into your sketchbook, ( true , true ) drawing in public is never easy, well done. You’ve also used this exercise as an opportunity to practice your perspective and pay close attention to detail. The blue drawings are particularly engaging. Continue to work in your sketchbooks in this way.  

Exercise 3: 360 studies

For this exercise you paired up with a friend, it’s good to share experiences with another artist and it has given you the opportunity to see first hand the many different ways to approach something. It would be nice to see your 360 drawings displayed as a long panoramic view.

Here I put them together in a panorama with Photoshop :


The background fits together rather well, but the foreground shows gaps and repetitions. There is also a difference in tone, that I left here. I turned myself 90 degrees between the drawings, but did not think of the whole panoramic view- something to consider next time .


Project 3: Composition

Exercise 1: Developing your studies

You used this exercise as a place to explore media. You’ve created an experimental series but the composition lacks the interest of some of your previous works. There are vasts areas of the page where there is little happening, perhaps a portrait view would have been better. However you have evoked different atmospheres through your use of media from a warm environ to a dreamscape and desolate place. Just be careful of collage becoming too crafty. When you reflect consider how differing media can alter the viewer’s perception of the same thing.

It is true that here I got distracted into exploring different media instead of really exploring composition which was the essence of the exercise.

Exercise 2: Foreground, middleground, background

You thought carefully about your composition here and it pays, although your pigeon isn’t an accurate observational representation – animal anatomy is a whole other thing that needs to be studied – the rest of the drawing works really well, and the pigeon works as a device in the foreground to anchor the drawing. I am enjoying your limited pallette choice also, sometimes less is more.

Project 4: Perspective

Exercise 1: Parallel perspective – an interior view

A finely detailed study of a Moroccan room, a great choice for perspective with all those tiles. You are understanding the rules which need to be followed and your drawings are improving as a result. It is fine to use rulers and guidelines should you need to in order to aid your understanding.

Project 5: Townscapes

Exercise 1: Sketchbook of townscape drawings

Another successful series of drawings, the square format works really well at capturing a snapshot view. The white space around the drawing creates an interesting frame for the work also. You can create borders using a low tack masking tape if you want to experiment with less conventional shapes. Mask up your page to create letter box or square compositions, create your drawing as you would normally then peel off the tape to reveal your work.

Love this idea and will explore that! I feel attracted to unusual shapes and unconventional backgrounds.

Exercise 2: Study of a townscape using line

This is a quirky drawing, there is almost a children’s book naivety about it that is very appealing, it’s got character. Here for me you have managed to successfully combine the finished/unfinished balance that you were exploring in the previous part of the course.

Wow- I am so happy with this encouraging comment as this was an exercise that was a real real challenge and still felt very imperfect!

Exercise 3: Limited palette study

Again a successful piece, you are reigning in your ideas, developing interesting drawings as you progress through this section. There is a print like quality to some of these more recent drawings, it may be worth your while having a go at making some monoprints. I think it is something you would enjoy and would suit your way of working.

I really enjoy drawing with the limited palette. I was looking at Giacometti’s drawings and feel very inspired by the scribbly layered monochromatic way he draws. I have never tried monoprints because spontaneously it sounds like you need a studio and equipment for that, but now I am very curious and will look into it. Maybe this is not as complex as I think? I have also been wanting to play with phototransfers as a background for some time.

Working from life you are creating a much more honest observation, sensitive to what you see.

Exercise 4: Statues

This was the first exercise you completed for this part of the course. It is a detailed piece but the use of outline makes it more illustrative, again it is just about exploring tone further. I wonder would you create a very different study now having completed the section?

Yes, it feels like I need to have another go at this exercise. When I got back there I felt like I had spent far too long on the exercises and was very much eager to start some assignment drawings, but I will try again.


You’ve explored three different environments here. The modern architecture drawing works well at encapsulating what you have learned about perspective. The collaged newspaper doesn’t work as well as perhaps a single found page would have, it’s a bit forced.

Yes, I agree. It felt like a great idea with bringing all languages together, but I agree that it doesn’t work visually.

The Montevora piece carries on a similar line of enquiry to your limited palette study and foreground, middle… one. There is a European charm about it, you’ve captured the essence of the place which is down to working in situ.

A completely different environment again in the form of a skatepark but the limited subdued palette remains. Your composition choice is interesting, which has come about through preparatory work and experimentation, keep this up. Have a look at the work of Laura Oldfield Ford who explore the urban environment with a limited palette.     

Wow- another artist I am so happy to discover- using text and photocopies and scribbled portraits and collage at times- then graffitti, spraypaint. I love it all and don’t even know where to start experimenting here 🙂


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

This part of the course has forced you to get out and about and engage with your sketchbook, you’ve used it really well to document your immediate surroundings. From looking at your blog I can see you are using found materials to draw on, this is great, anything can be a surface, take a look at Adrian Hogan’s coffee cup drawings for example.

Perfect! A real challenge to draw on a rounded surface too. Will immediately indulge in a take- away cappuccino! 

I started but then used found surfaces much too little last chapter, something I really want to explore  further. I have a whole pile of Christmas paper wrappings saved for this purpose. Will go back to Tina Berning as well to rediscover her portraits on found paper.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Thank you for organising your research, you are looking at work from the past to present and visiting exhibitions where possible. Try now to find a way to marry what you are doing with the work you are looking at, use this blog post as an example of a way to compare and contrast your work to help contextualise it. You are keeping your sources within the body of text and this works fine, sometimes it can be easier to keep a separate list as your bibliography but there is no right or wrong way to do it at this stage of study, if you were writing something formal like an essay then you would keep a separate bibliography as a list. If your system works for you then maintain it as it is. OCA use the Harvard system of referencing if you want to start familiarising yourself with it. There is a guide on the OCA student site here.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

A well organised blog that is easy to navigate, you reflect well on each stage of your learning, now as mentioned above you need to try and fuse your research with your making.

Suggested reading/viewing


As well as the artists mentioned within the report take a look at the following videos of student work to help you consider how you could pursue some of your ideas further.

I had watched these videos before, but really enjoyed discovering how differently I saw the videos and the work now after completing this section.


Laura Strong is  a Level 3 Painting student exploring relationship and identity through psychogeography ( a word that was new to me this morning but that I have already encountered several times today looking at these different artists). She expresses emotion and meaning without showing any figures. I love her subtle work and find it incredible how much she can say with a tiny painting of a rather every day scene and then continue deepening in a beautifully presented series.


In this video the assessor Jim points out how the drawing of objects becomes a physical experience, through expressive marks and a bold approach to size. A concertina sketchbook goes on for 4,5 meters. The ambitious scale and the versatile way of using media creates a new and magical experience for the viewer.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Continue reigning in your ideas, refining your work from preparatory studies to final pieces.
  • Keep up the sketchbook work, particularly drawing on found surfaces.
  • The limited palette choice works well, explore this further.
  • If you can investigate monoprinting.

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment. Written or video/audio

Well done, I look forward to your next assignment. THANK YOU!

Tutor name Joanne Mulvihill-Allen
Date 7 January 2017
Next assignment due 7 May 2017

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